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No Room at the Top

Michael Hofmann: Brigitte Reimann’s ‘Siblings’, 2 March 2023

by Brigitte Reimann, translated by Lucy Jones.
Penguin, 133 pp., £12.99, February, 978 0 241 55583 5
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... writer Brigitte Reimann, born in 1933. Siblings (1963), given a fluent but flawed translation by Lucy Jones, is the first of her novels to be published in English, after the two volumes of her diaries that survived: I Have No Regrets: Diaries, 1955-63 (also translated by Jones), and It All Tastes of ...

Your life depends on it

Thomas Jones: Jonathan Raban, 19 October 2006

by Jonathan Raban.
Picador, 327 pp., £16.99, September 2006, 0 330 41338 4
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... with the story, with making the character sound convincing.’ The heroine of Surveillance, Lucy Bengstrom, doesn’t acknowledge a difference between fiction and non-fiction in the way she stacks her bookshelves: everything is arranged alphabetically by writer, with Kathy Acker slotted in next to Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution. ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: When is a planet not a planet?, 18 August 2005

... stamp of approval. Unofficially, they’re calling it ‘Xena’, after the character played by Lucy Lawless in the camp fantasy adventure Xena: Warrior Princess that ran on TV in the late 1990s. The IAU, which was founded in 1919, has strict rules about the names that can be given to new discoveries. Objects in the Kuiper Belt – a flurry of icy rocks ...

The Powyses

D.A.N. Jones, 7 August 1980

After My Fashion 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 286 pp., £2.50, June 1980, 0 330 26049 9
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Weymouth Sands 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 567 pp., £2.95, June 1980, 0 330 26050 2
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Recollections of the Powys Brothers 
edited by Belinda Humfrey.
Peter Owen, 288 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 7206 0547 4
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John Cowper Powys and David JonesA Comparative Study 
by Jeremy Hooker.
Enitharmon, 54 pp., £3.75, April 1979, 0 901111 85 6
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The Hollowed-Out Elder Stalk 
by Roland Mathias.
Enitharmon, 158 pp., £4.85, May 1979, 0 901111 87 2
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John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest 
by Morine Krissdottir.
Macdonald, 218 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 354 04492 3
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... he farmed in Kenya with T.F.’s brother, Willie, and married the daughter of their sister Lucy. He writes about religion in Quaker journals and has published a long poem called ‘South Wales Echo’, under the pseudonym ‘Gerardus Cambrensis’. Mr Casey also translates modern Greek poetry. He recalls that it was J.C. who made him learn to read ...

Sydney’s Inferno

Jonathan Coe, 24 September 1992

The Last Magician 
by Janette Turner Hospital et al.
Virago, 352 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 1 85381 325 7
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by George Mackay Brown.
Murray, 232 pp., £14.95, July 1992, 0 7195 5149 8
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... a good deal of apparatus to dismantle before we can arrive at it. The narrator of these events is Lucy, a call-girl turned TV researcher, who is a generation younger than the traumatised quartet but becomes a close friend of both Charlie and Catherine, as well as having an affair with Robinson Gray’s son, Gabriel. This makes for a peculiar narrative ...

In praise of work

Dinah Birch, 24 October 1991

Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelite Circle 
by Teresa Newman and Ray Watkinson.
Chatto, 226 pp., £50, July 1991, 0 7011 3186 1
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... Ghent and in the Antwerp Academy. Unlike William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or Edward Burne-Jones, Brown profited from a broad and thorough education in the business of painting. Later, his art became a passion and a vocation. But it never ceased to be a job from which a living had somehow to be wrung. Adult cares came early. His devoted mother and ...

Tied to the Mast

Adam Mars-Jones: Alan Hollinghurst, 19 October 2017

The Sparsholt Affair 
by Alan Hollinghurst.
Picador, 454 pp., £20, October 2017, 978 1 4472 0821 1
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... perspective – a rarity in Hollinghurst, even when the point of view seems to wander freely. Lucy is Johnny’s daughter; the idea of his becoming a donor father was mooted in the previous chapter by a couple of gay women friends, and Johnny had taken to it at once: ‘He imagined for a moment telling his own father the news, the uncertain pride in this ...
The Bayreuth Ring 
BBC2, October 1982Show More
directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.
Edinburgh Film Festival, September 1982
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by Lucy Beckett.
Cambridge, 163 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 521 22825 5
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Wagner and Literature 
by Raymond Furness.
Manchester, 159 pp., £14.50, February 1982, 0 7190 0844 1
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Wagner to ‘The Waste Land’: A Study of the Relationship of Wagner to English Literature 
by Stoddart Martin.
Macmillan, 277 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 333 28998 6
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Wagner and Aeschylus: ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Oresteia’ 
by Michael Ewans.
Faber, 271 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11808 9
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... Chéreau’s Ring and Syberberg’s new film, and between Syberberg’s view of Parsifal and Lucy Beckett’s, are most illuminating. Beckett’s detailed, searching and provocative study can stand by Deryck Cooke’s magisterial I saw the world end (1979) and the long essay by Michael Tanner in the Faber Wagner Companion (1979). The other three recent ...

Wordsworth and the Well-Hidden Corpse

Marilyn Butler, 6 August 1992

The Lyrical Ballads: Longman Annotated Texts 
edited by Michael Mason.
Longman, 419 pp., £29.99, April 1992, 0 582 03302 0
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Strange Power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Literary Possession 
by Susan Eilenberg.
Oxford, 278 pp., £30, May 1992, 0 19 506856 4
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The Politics of Nature: Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries 
by Nicholas Roe.
Macmillan, 186 pp., £35, April 1992, 0 333 52314 8
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... each other: W.J.B. Owen (1967) used the 1798 text, Derek Roper (1968) used 1805, while Brett and Jones (1963) combined 1798 with Vol. II of 1800. Now Mason appears, to reissue the text still available in Roper’s version – and what else? He might have gone in for a critical edition, condensing the interpretative debates, or for supplementing the notes of ...

How did he get it done?

John Jones: Leigh Hunt’s sense of woe, 22 September 2005

Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt 
by Nicholas Roe.
Pimlico, 428 pp., £14.99, January 2005, 0 7126 0224 0
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The Wit in the Dungeon: A Life of Leigh Hunt 
by Anthony Holden.
Little, Brown, 448 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 316 85927 3
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... no one tell me what she sings?’ – the Discharged Soldier, the Danish Boy. Silent, too, about Lucy, ‘the joy of my desire’. But Roe also promotes Hunt’s poetry. Whereas Wordsworth risks finding himself ‘master of a barren, solitary patch while life continues elsewhere’, Hunt is companionable, unafraid of crowds; his ‘urban scene is bursting ...

In the Box

Dale Peck, 6 February 1997

How Stella Got Her Groove Back 
by Terry McMillan.
Viking, 368 pp., £16, September 1996, 0 670 86990 2
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by Sapphire.
Secker, 142 pp., £7.99, September 1996, 0 436 20291 3
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The Autobiography of My Mother 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Vintage, 228 pp., £8.99, September 1996, 0 09 973841 4
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... gone before, despite the fact that such divisions have about as much validity as the chalk line Lucy used to draw down the centre of the apartment she shared with Ricky, splitting couch, table and coffee-pot in half.All of this by way of introduction to the books under review here. Their three authors are all black; they are also all women, and they are ...

Half Snake, Half Panther

James Davidson: Nijinsky, 26 September 2013

by Lucy Moore.
Profile, 324 pp., £25, May 2013, 978 1 84668 618 4
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... and I would starve to death.’ Following the Paris season Diaghilev took him to Venice, for what Lucy Moore in her new biography describes as ‘an unconventional honeymoon’. In 1910, the god of the dance returned to Paris. This time he starred in Schéhérazade. The fun-loving Queen Zobéide, played by the extraordinary-looking Ida Rubinstein, cajoles the ...

Who wouldn’t buy it?

Colin Burrow: Speculating about Shakespeare, 20 January 2005

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare 
by Stephen Greenblatt.
Cape, 430 pp., £20, October 2004, 9780224062763
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... who was enough of a wag to fall into bad company, steal deer from the park of Sir Thomas Lucy, and then satirise the victim of his crime in a ballad as well as in The Merry Wives of Windsor. As Shakespeare’s reputation grew he had to become hardworking and lovable, too. So in 1765 Samuel Johnson appended to Rowe’s life the story that when young ...


Joan Aiken, 17 July 1980

... or put him to work: ‘No one is going to sivilise me. I been there before.’ Huck, like Tom Jones, is outside the reach of everybody’s charity. But another American orphan over whom I used to agonise, the orphan par excellence, is Ellen Montgomery, heroine of The Wide Wide World. Poor Ellen: no one ever wept so much, or was quite so miserable, as ...

What did Freud want?

Rosemary Dinnage, 3 December 1992

Freud’s Women 
by Lisa Appignanesi and John Forrester.
Weidenfeld, 563 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 297 81244 0
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Psychoanalysis in its Cultural Context 
edited by Edward Timms and Ritchie Robertson.
Edinburgh, 209 pp., £30, August 1992, 9780748603596
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... M., Emmy von N., Katharina (a peasant girl who did not rate a surname), Elisabeth von R. and Lucy R. – is fascinating as higher gossip, but it doesn’t explain where Freud drew his psychology of women. With their life-stories expanded, none of these women are quite what they appear in the case-histories. They do not appear to have achieved dramatic ...

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